Language, Literacy, and Storytelling – Part 3

A Teacher's Reflections

In Part 2, I shared worrisome statistics about children who enter school excited to learn to read, and the dramatic drop-off when they are not exposed to books and hearing words.  I talked about the next step, engaging children in both conversation and thinking – writing picture stories.

Part 3
There is proof in the pudding down the road.  Language, literacy and storytelling makes a difference, and not just with children.  Well, there’s more. Adults. That proof is in the high quality of Cuban cigars. It’s a great story, one of my favorites.

Reading aloud never gets old. It weathers time and generations. For adults, when we are read to, we listen, think and feel. And, we have to stretch our brain. When we only hear the words it sharpens our mind, and our performance is much better.

The Cuban cigar industry understood this. That’s why they make…

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Words We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem – FREE!!!

Originally posted on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo: Get this book FREE Now Here! Blurb: “I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.” What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair…

via Free book promotion, Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye — Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

Mirror, mirror…

 

“Mirror is my best friend, because when I cry, it never laughs.”  – Sir Charles Chaplin 

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”               – Camille Pissarro

If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies how very different our ideals of beauty would be.”                   – author unknown

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”
-Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

                 *

Mirror, Mirror

I embark on a journey

To find out just who is this person

Buried inside my eyelids

The one who lurks in front of the bathroom mirror

As I blow-dry my hair each morning

She mimics my movements

While I brush my teeth and short reddish hair

Thank you Clariol

Or is she mocking me?

We share a wardrobe

It is debatable whom the clothes fit better

I prefer to think the mirror is the one

Telling the tall tales

A mirror should never be believed

If it were kinder

Perhaps I wouldn’t avoid its glare

*

Bisous,

Léa

Not guilty

Originally posted March 2012

“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”
—George Bernard Shaw

“Never eat more than you can lift.”
—Miss Piggy

*

Not guilty

Today I ordered rhubarb pie

With my iced coffee

As its tartness exploded

Into my mouth sending lazy taste buds

Waves of pleasure

I noted that this pie

Was not accompanied

By the usual helping

Of guilt

Guilt for indulging

In this orgy of calories

Guilt that I will not be very hungry

When my son takes me out for dinner

In four hours – guilt

That the needle -on the bathroom scale

May have to climb a little higher

As my fingers traced

A path of flakey golden crumbs

And sticky red juice

I realized that this time

There was no attempt

To justify the decision

To indulge, to rationalize

Because it’s my birthday I’m entitled

No bargaining of what I

Would forgo?

To atone

I simply enjoyed every last bite

And if I weren’t’ so full

I would get another piece -perhaps

Or – make that to go

*

Bisous,

Léa

Fire & ice

 

This was originally posted 21 December 2011.

“A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.”

– Mae West

*

Fire & ice

Winter

It’s cold

Like your touch

And I

Am a creature

Of the heat

I

Delight in the taunting

Massage

Of the sun’s rays

They force me

Into

Complete submission

Fire Its The power

And it burns

Deep inside me

Beware

Your daggers

Of ice

Cannot penetrate me

I will laugh

As you melt

Fire & ice

*

Bisous,

Léa

She knows me so well…

“Long hair is considered bohemian, which may be why I grew it, but I keep it long because I love the way it feels, part cloak, part fan, part mane, part security blanket.”

– Marge Piercy

***

She knows me so well…

YES

She knows my hair

Knows me so well

The muddy colored tresses

Cloaks my fears

Hiding my shame

Soaking up

Tears and shields me

From un-approving stares

These locks cool me

As the wind blows her higher

In the past

Yanked, pulled

Cut against her will

or imprisoned in clips, bands

Tossing my head – exposing my face

The only sense of freedom

My only sense of glory

Imagined myself safe

Enveloped in her embrace

Today

Raising the flag of defiance

I set her free

***

Bisous,

Léa

self-help

“Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out, the need to be rid of something or to get in touch with something within.”
– David Duchovny

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs

self-help

writing like painting

the machine at the boardwalk

pulling taffy

no matter the toughness

of the material

all is brought to the surface

to be examined

in the light

if I pause

stand back

reflect on my work

my interest is vested

before rendering

judgment

Bisous,

Léa

Memoir

“Love is forever, lust is for the moment…got a moment?” – Michael Gorman

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful…” – Mae West

Memoir

You shall be

My pillow book

My brush

Will record

Each story

We create

Slowly

I master

Every pore

Your flesh

Will sing

With the

Tears, lust

And laughter

Shared

Exclamation points,

Ellipsis

I shall

Punctuate you

With care

Overlooking

Naught

Each mark

I leave

Every stroke

I make

Indelible

Bisous,

Léa

Wounded

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” – John Locke

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

Wounded

The tiny blonde woman wails like a banshee

Invoking her curse that I not see my children again

Since the Courts ruled she can’t see her children again

Says she will take me out like Rambo

Court orders sever familial ties

As Reunification services are terminated

A three-year-old boy

Whose name she doesn’t remember “You know, the one I hit.”

And social workers are left to assess detriment

For future visits with this parent

There will be no contact

And Jeffery learns he doesn’t have to hide

Each time he hears footsteps

Doesn’t cower at the knock on the door

The door is not after him It won’t slam him down

As when momma calls from the other side

His vocabulary multiplies each day

His now chubby freckled cheeks widen

As a grin spreads across his face

He runs to the waiting arms of his foster mother

Learning to trust – there are no tricks here

No fist hidden behind her back

Waiting to strike out

Like the eerie hissing of the snake

Whose incantations are lifted from my voice mail

Voice printing

As the sheriff’s department collects evidence

My office building covered with her picture

Covered with warnings – Do not approach

Report sightings immediately

She says that it is her daughter that she loves

The one with the heart condition … her name is Brittany

Does she remember?

Does she remember the names of any of the others?

Six others – each who have different homes

In different states across the country

Altered states

Is time healing their wounds? Do the scars show?

The deepest ones rarely do

Thousands of miles from here

Other social workers are dealing with scars

From the tiny blonde woman

Who wails like a banshee

On my voice mail

In their nightmares

In the quiet of my room

Late at night

Back at the office

I hesitate Before answering the phone

At work they tell me to be careful

“Watch your back” “get an escort to your car”

Reassurance that law enforcement is looking

For the tiny blonde woman

Is obtaining a warrant

They lie in wait for her

As she lie in wait for Jeffery

On the other side of the door

As she lies in wait for me

Wailing

This wounded animal

Lies in wait

Waiting to strike

And I wonder about the animal

That wailed lying in wait for her

Ripping its claws deep inside

Shredding her mind, her soul

Wounded, wailing

The tiny blonde woman

Wails and

Waits

Bisous,

Léa

Haiku: Childhood

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”  – Herbert Ward

“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them, leaves an impression.” – Haim Ginott

“When someone was hitting me, or like sexually molesting me, it just seemed normal to continue to do that to myself.”  – Tatum O’Neal

Childhood

For many of us

Life wasn’t about being loved

Survival’s the game

Bisous,

Léa